Sue Johnston, a mother of three in Cumming, Georgia, figured out how to get paid to lose weight.
She lost almost 78 pounds- and not only that, she earned $150 to boot, using one of the many online services that reward you with cash when you lose weight.
Erin Wright, a mother of five in Center Valley, Arkansas, earned a whopping $800 and lost 69 pounds.
If you’re having trouble losing weight, you’re not alone.
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However, what if someone actually paid you to drop those pounds? Psychological studies have shown that subjects are highly likely to lose weight, and to lose more of it, if there is some money to sweeten the deal.
Enter Social Dieting
Exercise and diet are two weight loss words that don’t inspire a lot of people.
A study even discovered that fewer Americans are trying to lose weight, as the obesity rates increase to 66%.
According to Colorado State University Extension, around 50 million Americans go on a diet every year, but only 5% actually manage to keep the weight off.
Because ‘new normals’ in weight has led to wider acceptance of obesity, efforts in shedding off unhealthy pounds seem to go on a downward spiral.
But what if you could turn weight loss into a game, and get a chance to win a pot of gold at the finish line? Would you join to lose the pounds? Well, guess what? There are 9 ways you could earn cash on the side from losing weight – one program even pays over $3,000.
Sites like DietBet, Gym-Pact and Healthy Wage are proliferating across the ‘net and all employ some concept of social dieting.
What is social dieting?
It’s where dieting is a group-focused rather than solitary activity.
You lose weight with other people, be they your family members, friends or just random folks online.
Through a combination of community support and some peer pressure, you end up more committed to losing weight in a set period of time.
Oh, and then there’s the money: You bet a certain amount of your own cash, say $100, and if you achieve a defined weight loss goal, you make back your initial investment and then some.
There are no stipulations about how you lose weight.
However, most of these weight loss betting sites do offers forums and other member communities where participants support each other in their weight loss goals.
Here’s what Sue had to say about her weight loss bet on Healthy Wage:
I was skeptical at first, but after thoroughly researching it, there just didn’t seem to be a downside. If I stayed on track, I’d win; it was that simple. The 10% weight loss over six months was both achievable and healthy. And who better to bet on than myself – right?
I had no intention of losing my initial $150 bet, so I jumped in with both feet and never looked back. On August first, I had surpassed my goal of 26.9 lbs. and lost 78 lbs. By August third, I had a $300 deposit in my PayPal account.
Since her Healthy Wage challenge, Sue has continued losing weight and, at this point in time, is down at least 124 lbs compared to when she initially started on her weight loss goal.
Erin Wright participated in two Healthy Wage challenges and said the following,
I started the 10% 6 month challenge and the 1 year BMI challenge on the same day. The 10% challenge was a $100 payout and the BMI challenge was a $300 payout. I think I lost 36 lbs the first 6 months and won $200. At the end of the year I had lost 69 lbs., with my BMI below 25, and won $1,000, for a net win of $800.
Diet Bet is another get paid to lose weight site where participants form betting pools.
The amount of money that can be make back depends on the number of people in the pool; the bigger the pool, the bigger the pot of money that can be won.
However, if the challenge is an easy one and there are several winners in the pool, the money won back is going to be little.
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Amy Oztan of Selfish Mom tried DietBet for several weight loss bets. Here’s what she had to say about the program:
For the second and third DietBet I (and about 20 participants) put up $50. If I remember correctly, most of us on the second bet met our goals, so we each got our money back plus about twelve dollars and change. I did not win the third DietBet – I think I had to lose about 7.5 pounds, and I actually lost about five. The $50 was not enough of a risk to really matter on its own.
A better motivator was saving face with my friends. I knew everyone doing those DietBets, and I wanted to be accountable to them. However, I don’t think that *just* the friend angle would have done it either. It was both the money and saving face. Putting your money where your mouth is, I guess.
How do you find a legitimate way to get paid to lose weight?
Given the testimonials I collected, it seemed to me that these weight loss betting sites seem legitimate. However, I did find a negative review about Healthy Wage that got me worried. To better understand what might be going on, I talked with Anna T. of Real Ways to Earn Money Online.
She had this to say:
To determine whether or not a site is legit, you should carefully research its reputation. Most of the time when people have been ripped off, they are going to make some noise about it online. It’s a good idea to type in the company name followed by the word “scam” on Google or another search engine to see what results populate.
If you discover that the site has an overall positive online presence and that it’s been discussed favorably on reputable online magazine sites, blogs, or forums, that’s a good indicator that it’s not a scam.
I would also suggest doing a Whois search on the domain to try and find out who’s behind the site and when it was created. If you can find out who is behind the site, you can research that person through Google in the same manner that you researched the site itself.
What about staying honest?
It would be easy for anyone to say that he or she weighs 300 lbs. now and then “lose” a quick 150 lbs. in the space of 6 months (it just melted right off!).
To maintain honesty, the aforementioned weight loss betting programs do require that you are officially weighed when you start and end your program. O
fficial weights can be recorded in a doctor’s clinic, gym or your own home. DietBet, for example, has members take before and after photos of themselves standing on a scale in front of a full-length mirror.
9 Sites That Pay You to Lose Weight
I’ve rounded up 9 different sites that all offer you the chance to get paid to lose weight.
Join one or join them all. Either way, put forth the effort to live a more healthy lifestyle and you can be rewarded while doing so!
1. Healthy Wage
Launched in 2009, HealthyWage began in hosting weight loss challenges in the corporate world and government. Soon after, the program became available to everyone online.
HealthyWage follows a cool concept – you put in at least $20 per month and bet against yourself to lose weight.
Once the challenge ends and you lost your goal weight, you earn over 200% of your invested bets. You can even play around with HealthyWage’s calculator to check how much you could win for 10 to 200 pounds of weight loss within a span of 6 to 18 months.
What’s awesome about HealthyWage?
There are a lot of success stories. It’s been featured in many shows, including Good Morning America, The Washington Post, Woman’s Day, Today Show, and more.
DietBet members also rely on financial incentives for motivation.
Consider it a massive community of “biggest loser” contestants competing online. The coolest thing about DietBet is that members can create their own games and keep it private among family and friends, who can join in on the fun. DietBet will just do the tracking and data stuff for you.
On DietBet, members get to choose which game you wish to join (depending on the pot, length of challenge, number of participants, and more).
Every participant then wages a bet, begin the competition, weigh in regularly, and complete the game.
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At the end of the game, DietBet keeps 10% to 25% of the pot raised, then whoever lost 4% of their body weight from initial weigh in to final weigh in gets to split the pot.
Note that if a pot reaches $25,000 and about 200 of all 250 participants lose 4% by the end of the game, everyone who wins only get to take home $90 to $110 each (depending on how much cut DietBet gets out of the pot).
Not much of a gym person? DietBet also has its own “step challenge” to encourage walking, so if you’re interested, head over to its sister site StepBet.
FatBet isn’t the most visually-appealing websites around, but it serves its purpose well.
Anyone can start a FatBet, set weight loss goals, set wager, fill in dates and ask people he/she knows to join the challenge. From there, everyone who participates can track their personal progress. Once the FatBet ends, participants who reach their goals win and those who don’t pay the wager.
The platform of FatBet is very unassuming.
Every FatBet only shows progress charts of participants, details of the FatBet wager, and their very own community board – where bragging and smack talk among family and friends often occurs.
Stickk isn’t just about losing weight – it encourages a healthy lifestyle to quit smoking, exercise regularly, maintain weight, race, or other custom commitments.
Anyone can create their goals, set the stakes, assign a referee, and sign the contract.
If you don’t meet the goal within the time period you set, the money you placed could go to a recipient of your choice. Some people even assign an enemy as their recipient as extra motivation to beat the challenge.
If you meet your goal, there are no other prizes, except for the fact that you won and you’ll keep your money. The smallest wager, or what Stickk calls “the price of failure,” you could set is at $5.
Like Stickk.com, Pact doesn’t just focus on weight loss, but meeting three different kinds of goals for a healthier lifestyle – eating more vegetable (daily photo uploads of your veggie-infused meals), exercising more (sync Fitbit and other various apps for proof), and logging your food (via My Fitness Pal).
You don’t earn a lot of money with Pact. The site claims you can receive 30 cents to $5 a week, depending on the amount of goals set. Users are motivated because of the stakes they might lose whenever they don’t reach their goals.
User’s credit cards are connected to the app too, so there’s no escaping paying wages if you don’t meet your pact.
Achievement works similarly to Pact.
It’s an app-based program that lets you connect over 40 fitness trackers and apps, such as FitBit, Samsung Health, Apple Health, MyFitnessPal and more.
Members are able to earn points from completing healthy activities you’re already doing.
You can also participate in studies and surveys, which gets you extra points as well. It may not be a lot, but you can exchange 10,000 points for $10.
Dubbed as the world’s first health currency, WellCoin lets users collect coins by simple completing various health-related activities.
Earn as many coins you can by sleeping 7+ hours a night, drinking a smoothie, or doing something fun.
Once you’re ready to turn your coins into rewards, check WellCoin’s reward page to see what the company’s partners like Reebok, Whole Foods, Puma, etc. are offering.
If you’re not yet on SwagBucks, you’re missing out on every reward you could’ve earned from searching the web, playing games online, watching videos, taking surveys, signing up to programs, shopping from big retailers like Walmart or Amazon, and more.
If you’re trying to lose weight, you should check out SwagBucks fitness videos collection and earn rewards from following one of the workout videos available there.
If you shop at Walgreens, you’d love to know that the company offers points whenever you complete a healthy goal.
Earn points when you weigh in, connect a gadget or app, monitor blood pressure, quit smoking, and more. Redeem points for rewards.
So, can you really get paid to lose weight?
Should I “put my money where my mouth is” and do a weight loss bet of my own? I could stand to lose a few pounds…
Please let me know in the comments below!
Check out how you can also get paid to walk if you’re not really the betting type and just want to get paid to shed some pounds while walking.